The Motlow Bucks opened the baseball season winning two out of three games over the weekend in the state of Alabama. Motlow will make a third trip to the state on Tuesday when it travels to Decatur to face Calhoun in a noon doubleheader.
The Bucks (2-1) dropped their season opener 4-2 to Shelton State on Friday in Tuscaloosa. Motlow then traveled to Birmingham on Saturday and swept Birmingham Southern 6-5 and 2-0. The first home game is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 7, when Glen Oaks, Mich. visits the Driver Complex at 2 p.m. The teams will play a doubleheader the following day, with the first pitch scheduled for noon.
Against Shelton State on Friday, the home team scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to grab the lead 3-0. Motlow starting pitcher Josh Hopkins (0-1) gave up the three runs, although only two were earned. Hopkins struck out five and allowed five hits with one walk in his five innings of work.
The Bucks scored their runs in the top of the fourth, cutting the lead to one by taking advantage of two Shelton State errors and a hit by Motlow’s Nick Chambers. Chris Adams and JC Daily drove in Motlow’s runs. Elliott Bush pitched the final three innings for the Bucks, allowing one hit and one run with three strikeouts. Daily added two stolen bases for the Bucks.
Saturday’s first win in Birmingham saw the Bucks score six runs in the top of the fourth inning, then hold on as Southern scored five in the bottom of the seventh. Motlow’s Hayden Bailey earned the save for winning pitcher Matt Sharp (1-0) by pitching the final inning.
Sharp was spectacular in his four innings of work, allowing no hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Zach Westberry pitched two innings, and into the seventh, and allowed four runs with two strikeouts. Bailey took over for Westberry in the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs and allowed only one run.
In the six-run fifth inning, Daily got things started with a one-out walk and stole second base. Adams reached on an error and Logan Conley reached on a fielder’s choice to score Daily. With two outs, Ben Holland doubled down the left field line to drive in Adams and Conley. Clayton Palicki then doubled to drive in Holland, Poteet singled to drive in Palicki, and Darren White singled to drive in Poteet.
Palicki had two doubles and Holland and Luke Toms each had one. Daily added another stolen base for Motlow.
Game two on Saturday was easily the weekend’s most exciting game, going nine innings before the Bucks scored twice in the top of the inning to earn the sweep.
The contest featured outstanding pitching by Motlow’s Palicki and Nathan Hammer. Palicki started and went six innings, allowing one run and one walk with two strikeouts. Hammer (1-0) got the win, tossing the final three innings and giving up three hits with one strikeout.
In the decisive ninth inning, Poteet led off for the Bucks with a walk and Chambers reached on an error. Motlow then took advantage of two straight Southern errors and Poteet scored the first run of the game. Daily drove in the final run with a double, scoring Chambers. Hammer then earned the win by pitching a one-hit ninth inning.
–Motlow College Sports Information